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Urge state senators to incentivize data centers in Washington

Send a message: HB 1846 would boost jobs, environment and state’s economy


OLYMPIA (March 5, 2022) — In the final days of the 2022 session, Washington state legislators have a unique opportunity to promote economic development while boosting both labor and climate standards.

HB 1846, sponsored by Rep. April Berg (D-Mill Creek), would incentivize private investment in building, maintaining and retrofitting data centers in the State of Washington. This industry is a critical part of our state economy, creating career pathways through state-registered apprenticeship programs, funding local communities, and fueling economic growth.

On Friday, the state House of Representatives approved HB 1846 on a 68-30 vote. The bill is not subject to cutoff deadlines, but the legislative session ends March 10, so the state Senate needs to act now to pass the bill.

TAKE A STAND — The IBEW, Washington State Building Construction Trades Council, and the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO strongly urge all to send a message to your state senator today and urge them to vote YES on HB 1846.

HB 1846 is a model for how tax incentives should be written to guarantee the promise of good jobs and strongly environmental protections. It includes:

  • Labor Standards (Project Labor Agreements)
  • Environmental Standards (Building efficiency standards)
  • An Urban Pilot (Creates the first-of-its-kind in Washington state urban data center incentivization)
  • Rural Program Reauthorization (Proven job creator)
  • Private Investment in Workforce Development (Apprenticeship opportunities)

Since 2017, the rural data center industry has provided more than $250 million in state property, sales and utility taxes; $95 million to public services; and more than $400 million in wages and benefits in the Central Washington area alone. These projects create apprenticeship opportunities that are proven pathways to family-wage careers, which are essential to the construction industry and Washington state.

Washington state is on a pathway to 100% clean electricity and 95% economy-wide greenhouse gas reductions by 2050. As technology advances, we are increasingly relying on web-based integrated systems that heavily rely on data processing and the use of large data centers to decarbonize our economy. Building them in Washington means not only creating good jobs here, but ensuring data centers adhere to our strong environmental standards. HB 1846 also requires sustainable design and green building certifications, which further decreases the environmental impact of data centers.

Passage of HB 1846 would demonstrate our state’s commitment to solid environmental policy and good labor standards through fiscally responsible economic policy.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!